Uber Technologies said it is doing a fresh round of recruitment for its India tech centres and is planning to hire 500 more tech employees by December.
The app-based mobility and delivery company has a 1,000-member tech team across its centres in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
The firm said the hiring plan is a testament to Uber’s commitment to India, and its recognition of the engineering talent in the country.
Uber hired 250 engineers to its India teams in 2021.
The company has been expanding teams at all its tech centres across the globe, including the US, Canada, LatAm, Amsterdam, and at its twin centres in India.
“India is a key market for Uber and we continue investing in the twin tech centres here,” said Praveen Neppalli Naga, vice president and head of mobility engineering, Uber.
Naga is based in San Franciso and is on a visit to India to reveal the hiring plans and inaugurate a new office.
“The teams play a crucial role in driving world-class innovations by launching products and services globally.
"We are committed to making mobility available at everyone’s fingertips, and the strength of our technology sets us apart in this regard.”
Recently, Uber inaugurated a new floor at its Bengaluru tech centre.
C N Ashwath Narayan, Minister of IT, Karnataka officially unveiled the new space in Bengaluru.
The hiring in India is taking at a time when Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a letter to employees said that the company is tightening its belt as investors are now asking questions about profitability and cash flows.
The company said that it will hire only it needs and will cut down on marketing budgets.
“That email was meant for internal employees. But this is not the first time.
"We always look at how the resources are allocated, the priorities that the engineers are working on and reprioritise properly,” said Naga, in an interview.
“Let’s say we have the 1,000 member tech team here, we have to see how they are allocated for priorities.
"So that the next 500 techies or engineers that we are hiring are working on the highest-priority stuff. That is the message.”
Jayaram Valliyur, senior director, engineering, Uber said the tech teams at Uber are driving pioneering innovations in the area of mobility and delivery. “We’re excited to onboard passionate problem solvers to our team, to collectively lead people into cities of the future,” said Valliyur.
Manikandan Thangarathnam, senior director, engineering, Uber said the company is looking for the best-in-class engineers, data scientists, and program managers to join its global engineering and product teams, with the aim of ‘Building locally, and scaling globally’.
“We are excited about the possibilities that a rapidly evolving mobility space presents,” said Thangarathnam. “We will continue to lead innovations for our customers across the world.”
Uber’s tech journey in India started in 2014 at a bungalow in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, and has expanded over the years to a point where its tech centres in the country are now its second-largest in the world, following its facilities in the US. The centres at Hyderabad and Bengaluru handle critical functions for Uber such as Rider Engineering, Eats Engineering, Infra tech, Data, Maps, Uber for Business, FinTech, Customer Obsession, and Growth and Marketing.
However, with complaints mounting, the government has warned cab aggregators like Uber and Ola to comply with surge pricing and driver cancellation mandates as laid down under the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines within a month, or else face penal provisions, sources said.
Moreover, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) is soon expected to come up with a draft advisory for online cab aggregators. The warning, sources said, came at a meeting held Tuesday between the consumer affairs ministry and representatives of ride-hailing platforms such as Ola, Uber, Meru, Rapido, and Jugnu, among others. When asked, how Uber is addressing such issues, Naga of Uber said that the firm can make a huge impact through technology solutions. One example is that driver-partners will get to know the destination before accepting the trip. “There are several ideas that we are working on,” said Naga. “Of course, we are very interested in working along with the governments and actually partnering with them to find solutions. And that works not just in India but across the world.”
The government has told the aggregators there is a rise in consumer complaints of alleged unfair trade practices by them, including ride cancellation policy, as drivers force customers to cancel trips after accepting bookings. This results in customers paying cancellation penalties.
“Regarding driver cancelling the (trip), the important thing is how do we make sure that they make a good decision so that after they make a decision to accept the ride, they don’t cancel,” said Manikandan Thangarathnam of Uber. “We are starting to showcase end destination and payment modes. There are a lot more parameters which also influence the decisions. It is an ongoing process. At the end of the day, we want to do the right thing for the riders as well as drivers.”